By Jeanne Sager
MONTICELLO April 25, 2003 Its been a bad week for Brian Sager.
Monday a brush fire at the site of his familys motorcycle shop was swept up by the wind and ended up setting half his merchandise ablaze.
The Monticello Fire Department responded quickly to the facility on Cimarron Road and, with help from Rock Hill and Forestburgh firefighters, fought down the fire which was originally lit by Sager to clear excess brush on his property.
They did an absolutely fabulous job of minimizing the damage, said Sager, the general manager of Sagers Cycle Center.
Thankfully, he added, they saved the centers building from any fire damage.
But that wasnt the end of his woes not nearly.
Tuesday morning, Sager was asleep in his bed next door to the shop when he was startled awake by a car door slamming.
He checked the clock, noticed it was a few minutes to 5 a.m., and drifted back to dreamland, sure it was his father, Phil, coming in to get a jump on cleanup or a neighbor heading out to work for the early shift.
But three minutes later, Sager jumped out of bed and headed out the door. He heard the alarm going off next door at the cycle shop not, he said, my dad.
The would-be burglars hopped into a truck theyd parked on the lot (which police later discovered had been stolen) and raced up Cimarron Road to the intersection with Joyland Road, with Sager in his own vehicle in hot pursuit.
They took the turn too fast, Sager said, and went off into the grass.
Sager parked his truck to block the criminals from escaping in the vehicle, and the occupants took off on foot from the scene.
By that time, he said, the Sheriffs Department had picked up the burglar alarm and alerted the Monticello Police Department, asking for the help of Officer Lindholm and K-9 Dani.
They were able to catch Matthew Eisloffel, 18, of Burlingham and later tracked down another suspect, a 15-year-old, both of whom will be facing a number of charges.
The fire, Sager said, took out at least 60 crates filled with motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles, and an additional 80 separate units were lost.
Though the family has insurance on their product line, some of the vehicles were already paid for and others just part of the floor plan.
Some, Sager added, will not be able to be reordered this year.
There was a lot lost, he said, not to mention the lost profit potential.
But despite the incidents, the Sagers are back on track. Theyve even made some sales since their mishaps.
The community itself has been tremendously supportive, Sager said. We appreciate all their kind thoughts.
So what about that old wives tale that bad things always come in threes?
I had one thing happen already, and I dismissed that, but Ill take that as the first thing [of the three], he said with a laugh.